Kade, May 7, GNA - The Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association has been asked to ensure that its members follow laid-down procedures for the preparation and marketing of their products.
The Association should be able to take bold decisions to weed out all quack herbal practitioners and expose those who steal the patent of other recognised practitioners.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Kwaebibirem District branch of the Association, Mr J.P. K. Ankamah, Eastern Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, also called on the Association to have constant interaction with the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong-Akwapim and the Food and Drugs Board to promote quality products.
Mr Ankamah said there was the need to recognise the significant role of traditional medicine, especially in a developing country like Ghana, where the World Health Organisation estimates that about 80 per cent or more of the population depended on traditional medicine for their health care needs.
He said traditional or alternative medicine use, was not limited to developing countries alone, but there are ample evidence to show that it was increasing steadily even in developed countries such as Canada, France, united States, Britain and Germany.
Mr Ankamah noted that the world market for herbal medicines, including herbal products and raw materials, had been estimated to reach 30 billion dollars with an annual growth rate of between 5 and 15 per cent.
He, however, said the popularity of the herbal medicines had led to increasing concerns over their safety, quality and efficacy on the part of health authorities and the general public.
The District Public Health Nurse, Mrs Charlotte Ampofo, asked the herbalists to prepare their products under hygienic conditions and have them tested to ensure that they don't have adverse effects on their users.
She asked them to be involved in clean-up exercises to ensure sound environment and thereby sound health.
The District Public Health Nurse also advised them to refer cases beyond their means, such as polio, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS to hospitals. May 7, 04